“I get most of my motivation and strength from a natural instinct that comes from within me. I have always been a strong-minded person, and I am very determined to succeed in anything that I do. I know I will survive, and I know that no matter how hard the battle gets, I will persevere. My best advice would be to have faith, stay strong, and fight on! You can do anything you put your mind to, and having cancer is like a really bad WOD that you want to quit but can’t because everyone in the box around you is right there with you cheering you on to complete your last rep!”
Tiffany is 28 and was born in Palm Spings, CA. She relocated to Orange County when she was in the 7th grade and recently moved to La Habra, Ca to be closer to family and her hospital for optimal care. She has two brothers, Ryan and Jerrimy Milohov, and her mother Cristine Carnesi and stepfather Carl Carnesi. Tiffany and her boyfriend, Aaron, have been together two years this December, and look forward to building a family together after this cancer chapter is over. Tiffany is a Licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer, currently on temporary disability as she fights her battle.
Tiffany joined CrossFit June 22, 2013, and is an athlete at CrossFit Intersect in Long Beach, CA. Like most CrossFit athletes, she remembers her first WOD very clearly: a partner WOD of 100’s (wall balls, pistols, pull ups and 25# dumbbell snatches). Tiffany partnered with a girl named Kristel Bedford, a good friend to this day. Together they pushed through the mental battles and completed the WOD with smiles on their faces. Tiffany still remembers the feeling after completing her first WOD. It was like no other: she felt part of a team, part of an awesome group of people, and the camaraderie alone was something she had never experienced before. She drank the CrossFit Kool-Aid. She remembers telling Aaron she was sold and signed up with Joey Altobelli, owner of CrossFit Intersect immediately.
Tiffany was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Stage 2 on July 23, 2014. To date, Tiffany has had eight treatments of chemo, however she may be given an additional four treatments of chemo if she is diagnosed with B unfavorable. She has symptoms of both A and B and will not be diagnosed until after her PET Scan.
CrossFit Intersect has been such a positive environment for Tiffany. Her fellow CrossFitters have reached out with meals, cleaning, moving, and spending time with her during treatment. Scott Henning, a good friend and coach, dedicated his time to build her website, stiffsjourney.com. The cancer in her lymph nodes on her lungs and neck makes it very hard to work out because of how her respiratory system is affected. Her doctor has restricted her from working out in public places; however, she continues to WOD at home with modifications. Tiffany has a chemo port on her left side by her heart, and the line goes into the artery near her collar bone, so she does not do too much with a barbell. Tiffany visits her gym about every two weeks to see everyone. She wears a face mask to protect her from bacterial infections and viruses like the flu. While she refrains from hugging all the sweaty beasts, she does bump elbows. Going to the gym puts a big smile on her face and gives her an urge to work out. On October 18th, members of her box will participate in the Crush Cancer 2014 Events and she plans to be there to support them. Click here for more details.
Tiffany embodies the Everyday Warrior spirit. Her views have not changed much: she still feels fitness is very important in her life. Although she is not able to work out as much as she desires since her chemo treatments are very rough, she still manages to include fitness in her life. Her workouts have shifted a bit more towards yoga for mobility, swimming for cardio, and more AMRAP workouts without the bar. Tiffany loves fitness, and it will always be part of her life because it’s a switch in her that she can’t turn off.
CrossFit has prepared Tiffany mentally for her battle with cancer. In CrossFit, you have to stay mentally strong and work through the pain caves. She keeps her mind strong and tells herself it is nothing she can’t handle. Although it’s a constant mental battle, she stays positive and keeps fighting. Everyone at CrossFit Intersect is very supportive of her.